Running for Friendship

Wednesday night’s run was all about friendship.  When it’s 101 degrees at 7PM, it’s very easy to f ind reasons not to run.  Believe me, they all crossed my mind.  All afternoon they crossed my mind.  In the end, however, it was running with good friends that lured me out and kept me moving.

It was indeed 101 degrees when we started our run.  Thankfully, there was a nice breeze, and most importantly, there was only 23% humidity.  There was also a lot of shade.  I have to be honest and say it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Maybe the heat is getting to me, but I think as long as the humidity stays low, running when it’s 101 degrees is doable.  I didn’t say it was necessarily enjoyable, but it didn’t kill me either.  (My friend Brian sent me a good article on the effects on our bodies of running in high heat and humidity.)

We ran a new route through the Hollywood Heights section of Dallas, and there were some hills.  Keeping our options open, we decided to make the final decision on the fly as to whether we would run 4 or 6 miles.  I was happy to discover that I’m slowly getting stronger again on the hills, though I’m still not where I want to be (am I ever?).  I didn’t use my hill mantra  (“just keep going”) at all, and instead relied on my friends to get me to the top.  By using my friends, I mean that I carefully watched Bill and Gary out of the corner of my eye.  If they kept going, I would, too.  If they quit before the top, so would I.  We’re a team that way.  They never let me down.

We did walk some, but at just over 5 miles we could see the car and had to make the crucial decision whether or not to bail on the last mile or continue running.  To keep running when you can see the place you started from is the equivalent of continuing on past the race finish line, just for fun.  We compromised and ran out to just past 5.25, then made it back at 5.75 miles, not feeling one bit guilty that we had stopped short of 6.  When it’s 101 degrees out, there’s no room for guilt about anything–quitting early, walking, running for beer or Mexican food, etc.

Afterwards, the obligatory post-run beer and Mexican food were our reward for the trying run.  Actually, I’m wrong.  It was the same thing that got me out there in the heat and through the run that was my true reward:  good friends and good conversation.  They’re truly the best reasons to run when it’s 101 degrees.





    • Run Nature

      My other mantra is “fighter.” I read that Kara Goucher’s coach told her to find one word to recite when she started to doubt herself during a race, and that’s what she chose. It worked for me in Boston when I was sick.

  1. Kyle

    I like “fighter”. My recent 10k left my legs destroyed because of my unfamiliarity with hills. The people around me during races help too…but you are right in saying nothing compares to having friends run with you.

  2. Run Nature

    Might be time to do a little hillwork, which will also improve your speed. Do it with friends, though, to make it easier. Have a great trip to Peru! I’ve always wanted to go. Can’t wait to hear about it when you get back.

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